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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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ANTIQUE TRADER (THE). Begun in 1957 as a four-page tabloid published by Edward Babka, the publication first added editorial material about antique trading and began weekly publication in 1969 after its move to Dubuque. The paper was produced at the BABKA PUBLISHING COMPANY and printed at the TELEGRAPH HERALD. (1) In the 1980s, the Trader reached a peak circulation of 86,000 copies weekly with between ninety and one hundred pages per issue. In 1989 it was the largest national weekly newspaper catering to collectors and buyers of antiques and collectibles. (2)

The Antique Trader built its reputation as the premier print vehicle for the buying and selling of antiques nationwide. Its loyal following included antique dealers, antique show promoters, shop and mall operators, and collectors, some of whom have subscribed to the paper since its beginning.

During its first 27 years of operation, Antique Trader was strictly an advertising newspaper that connected buyers and sellers of antique and collectible items. In 1972, the paper took on new importance to the trade when it introduced industry and collecting news to its format. Under the direction of antiques expert Kyle Husfloen, who served as the publication’s editor for 20 years, Antique Trader prospered and served as the springboard for the annually produced Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide. (3)

In 1992, Babka Publishing sold Antique Trader and its related entities to Landmark Corporation which resold the titles to Krause Publications seven years later. (4) In 2002, Krause Publications was purchased by F+W Publications, a multinational company based in Cincinnati that prints more than 400 collector magazines, as well as books, educational materials and the highly respected Writer’s Digest.

Antique trade publications were challenged in the late 1990s by the rise of the Internet. In 2005, sports collectibles and magazine publishing veteran Kevin Isaacson was hired to revive Antique Trader for a rapidly changing audience.

In October 2006, Antique Trader launched an e-newsletter containing late-breaking news and features. Enthusiastically received by collectors and members of the trade, its subscriber numbers have increased since its introduction. (5)

Isaacson restructured Antique Trader’s staff and, in March 2006, hired Catherine Saunders-Watson as editor. Saunders-Watson, a former antiques and collectibles columnist with the London Times Group newspapers and former editor-at-large with the (London) Daily Mail Group’s U.S.-based antiques trade paper, AntiqueWeek, left the staff in 2007 to pursue other interests. Isaacson resigned in September of 2007.

On January 19, 2008, Antique Trader began a second free weekly e-newsletter focused on auction previews and highlights, which provides newsletter subscribers with the most current antiques auction coverage available.

In 2009 Antique Trader was known for its timely news coverage, collector profiles, in-depth articles on general antiques topics, auction reviews and antique-show reports. Its staff of specialist writers is based in Iola, Wisconsin.



1. Hogstrom, Erik. "Dedicated to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2016, p. 2A

2. Ibid.

3. "Antique Trader" Website: http://www.antiquetrader.com/aboutus/

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.